I can’t believe I’m actually devoting a whole post to this, but you will thank me for this if you take my advice. The other night, we had a great 14 juillet dinner, with baked red snapper in tarragon butter (prepared by my chef cousin Daniel), and other delicious things. A surprise standout was the simple grated carrot salad my wife made from Dorie Greenspan’s excellent “Around My French Table” cookbook.

Dorie has the recipe here.  I won’t reproduce it on this blog, because you should give her the page view. But trust me, you can’t believe something this simple, cheap, and easy to do can be so delicious — and it’s even better the next day.

Couple of notes: We don’t add the raisins or the walnuts to ours. I should warn from past experience that this salad doesn’t work nearly as well if you buy pre-grated carrots. The texture is all off.

My favorite recipes are not fancy foods, but simple, easy to prepare dishes that taste great. I have given you my no-fail, easy brisket recipe before. The grated carrot salad recipe is in that league. Dorie has a Provencal tomato recipe that’s even easier. The other night, I had some smallish tomatoes that didn’t have a lot of flavor. I cut the tops off, put them in a black iron skillet, doused them liberally with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and basil and rosemary from the kitchen garden. Into the oven they went for about 45 minutes. When they came out, they were terrifically flavorful. My cousin was dipping a baguette into the skillet to sop up the tomatoey, salty, herbal olive oil. These ho-hum tomatoes turned into something special with very little effort. It’s just not true, not true at all, that cooking good things has to be complicated.